The weather warmed up for Super Bowl Sunday, but don’t get too excited about an early spring; Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow yesterday, meaning, legend has it, we’re in for six more weeks of winter.
Phil reportedly spoke in ‘groundhogese’ to Bill Deeley, president of the groundhog ‘Inner Circle,’ who translated his message on Sunday morning:
A Super Bowl winner I will not predict,
but my weather forecast you cannot contradict.
Why, that’s not a football but my shadow I see,
It’s six more weeks of winter it must be!
Punxsutawney Phil—Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators, and Weather Prophet Extraordinary—has been forecasting the arrival of spring since the first official Groundhog Day in 1886.
“Today is groundhog day,” wrote Clymer Freas, editor of The Punxutawney Spirit, on the first-ever recorded celebration of the holiday, “and up to the time of going to press, the beast has not seen its shadow.”
In the nearly 120 years since Groundhog Day began, Punxsutawney Phil has seen his shadow a total of 101 times. However, Phil’s “seasonal forecasting accuracy is somewhat low,” admits the Stormfax Weather Almanac. “Phil’s winter prognostications have been correct only 39 percent of the time.”
A regular weather forecaster would likely be fired over such a record, but Punxsy Phil, a 15-pound woodchuck, enjoys total job security and “thrives on dog food and ice cream in his climate-controlled home at the Punxsutawney Library.”
Watch Phil predict six more weeks of winter: